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The Night Before The Next Web

April 26, 2010

Mynt Diner, Amsterdam, originally uploaded by Thoroughly Good.

It’s the night before The Next Web conference in Amsterdam. I’ve come along to have a listen the various speakers who’ll be delivering keynotes during the four day event and – seeing as my return flight is scheduled for Friday – having a nose around the city on Thursday night. I see as it a photo-opportunity.

This is the second work-related trip I’ve been on. They are in some senses quite bizarre experiences.

To a certain extent, the brief is quite broad and the expectations quite low. Exactly the kind of trip I like in that I can do something strikingly different from my day to day work and – hopefully – in the process learn stuff.

The first learning point for me was a painful reminder that I’m not as good at hotel bookings as I’d like to think I am. I always feel uncomfortable about relying on our team assistant to ‘make the bookings’.

I have the charge code myself. I’m a 38 year old (almost) and should be able to do such mundane tasks myself. Why should I have to sully a colleague’s working day with asking them to do such tasks. Possibly because they know what they’re doing and because of that they’ll ensure that when they book a room, they’ll also ensure breakfast is included in the rate.

Watch this space. I have a call in with the accommodation service at the BBC. We’ll see what transpires. I hope to God I don’t have to hand over my credit card at the end of the week. I don’t want to have to claim it off expenses.

Once I’d fought off fairly unexpected feelings of loneliness – really, only a few hours away from the home environment with it’s cats and the Significant Other and I can go to pieces – I settled myself down to my second burger of the day in the nearby Mynt Burger.

In between noting down what sessions I wanted to blog from tomorrow – Nick Halstead’s session on ‘real-time being the future of news’ looked interesting – I was pretty bemused to see a group of men emerge from one *those* coffee shops, stand on the street and light-up.

A city famed for its relaxed policy on smoking dope and yet clientele are forced to heed the smoking laws outside the presmises. What has the world come to?

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